25 March 2020

Altering Your Beam Levels Yourself? Here's Why You Shouldn't

Maybe you have had a change to your stock and the new pallets are too high to fit between the beams. By moving a beam level up a slot it would fit in perfectly? Is your warehouse needing an additional beam level to store more stock? Is there a wastage of space in your racks? By moving a beam down a slot or two it would then save space for something else?

It seems such a simple task, why would you need to bother consulting your racking supplier before moving the beam levels yourself? If it can be done in-house then it saves the seemingly unnecessary cost of a supplier having to make alterations to your Selective Pallet Racking system that you are quite capable of doing yourself.

But wait, have you considered the impact of altering your racking structure? Give a few minutes to read the guide before proceeding with your own alterations, maybe you will change your mind.

Beam Levels

Firstly, lets define a beam level. It is the space between the top surface of a beam to the underside of the beam above it. The clearances are originally set out in the erection of the racking structure. The details on the beam levels are listed on the Safe Working Load Limit (SWL) Sign on the end of each of the racking aisles. The installation of these by your racking provider was at the same time as the racking structure installation. Your provider will have copies on hand of the SWL Signs that you need to display in your warehouse.

The changing, adding or removing beam levels within your racking structure yourself
Winc - Selective Pallet Racking
has hidden risks, dangers and cost that maybe you hadn’t thought of. When signing a contract with a racking supplier you probably didn’t read the fine print that you wouldn’t alter the structure without consulting them first.

Not only is it the supplier contract you are breaching but the Australian Standards: AS4084-2023. With every racking supplier bound by the Standards it states in section 8.1.3. that “No changes are allowed to the configuration or usage of the racking without the racking suppliers authorisation.”

What is the impact of making the amendments yourself?

Maybe you have already guessed…

Changing the beam levels within your racking structure has an impact on the load capacity of the upright frames. This means that your SWL Sign on the end of your racks are could now be void. Without the sign off from a reputable racking supplier and the supplier of a new SWL signs and the racks capacities set out, you should not continue using your racking.

It would most likely result in the overloading of your racking. It may appear to sustain the added weight by looking at it. However, racking collapses do happen. If this were to happen, your insurance would likely no longer cover the damage to stock, 
Winc - Safe Working Load Sign
equipment or personnel. Your racking provider would not be able to be held liable. So instead you would likely face the consequences.

In conclusion, as they say prevention is better than cure, and it is applicable in this instance. We can't stress it enough a racking structure should not be altered without a reputable racking suppliers authorisation.

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